Saturday, April 4, 2009

Guhagar Venleshwar Hedavi

We moved on from Murud in the afternoon post lunch and again we decided to move by coastal road. We went to Karde ->to-> Ladghar –>to-> Karajgaon->to-> Burundi –> to-> Kolthar –>to-> Dabhol.

Ladghar beach
The jouney now was deep in Konkan region and signs of modern development had vanished. The beaches of Ladghar and Kolthar are nice and secluded but they are not huge in expanse like Murud. For a traveler who is seeking total peace and privacy this can be very good experience.

We reached Dabhol in the evening and straight went to ferry. There was some more time for the ferry to come so we had nice hot tea and had a stroll in the town. It has significant population of Muslims and hence has big mosques. There is one very old mosque but it is in bad condition. Unfortunately there is a board of Archeological Survey of India stating it is protected monument. Neither, I could see any effort from them to restore this building and nobody else is allowed to touch it. Few religious men were present there to offer evening prayers.

The town of Dobhol is relatively big but is pretty sheepish without much of activity. May be this was due to my image of the town. The image of this town in mind was due to issue of Enron power project; when this town was in news for quite some time. The magnitude of issue was probably overriding on my mind while I was looking at the town and hence found it too small.
Dabhol Creek from Jetty
Interestingly the power plant is not in Dabhol town; but is on the other side of creek. We boarded ferry and reached Dhopave- Anjanvel on the other side. By then it was dark, luckily we got great view of sunset from the ferry.

Dabhol Power Project
We headed straight for Guhagar, found Rajgad Kutir and stayed there. The next day morning we got up early to have a stroll on the beach, which was close by. The beach is long with white sand but at places it is slightly risky as the depth of sea changes. This has happened in many towns as people have removed sand in bulk for construction, making a pit under water. Visitors therefore should be careful while venturing in sea and should ask for guidance from locals.

Guhagar is relatively bigger town along the coast; hence you can experience buzz on the beach with; lot of vendors selling refreshments. The main road in the town runs parallel to the beach and it has many restaurants and shops.
Guhagar Beach

Old Stone Constructed wells
We came back and post lunch finished our work. By then it was late in the evening. The next day was for sightseeing. We saw grand old temple of Vyadeshwar in the center of the town. It is an ancient temple with really beautiful complex with carvings on stone.
Vyadeshwar Temple

Vyadeshwar Shiva
We then went to Durgadevi temple complex. This is a very beautiful complex with a lake inside. The temple has beautiful wooden pillars, with marble statue of the goddess. If you visit Guhagar and you have some free time in the afternoon, this is a good place to visit and spend some time.
Post lunch we again went to the beach and enjoyed sunset. Came back tired and slept.
Durgadevi Temple
Next day morning we went to Velneshwar, which is named after famous temple of Velneshwar (Shiva) which is Kuladaivat (deity of the clan) for over 24 clans in Maharashtra. The temple is old and with spacious complex constructed in the stone. It is a quite and serene place where you can plan to stay for few days if you wish to re-energize yourself. It is also a great place for people with Kids to stay for few days and experience nature and village life.

Chief attraction is the fact that at Velneshwar the hills come close to beach. This is probably the best combination of serpentine roads, hillocks, great greenery and nice beach. It is delight to see Dolphins that come very close to the coast and you can spot them play on the tides sitting on the beach. At the south end of the beach there is fisherman village. At night when the fishermen head towards deep sea in their trawlers or small boats with lights on; it is worth a watching them disappear in the darkness before you fall asleep.

Velneshwar Beach
Velneshwar Beach
We stayed at Velneshwar and planned to go to sea in one of the fishing trawlers. So we found the head fisherman (Tandel in Local Language) and spoke to him about our plans.

From him, we learnt some interesting aspects of fishing. He told us that they going to start their voyage early morning the next day. We would be taken in small boats at 10.00 p.m. to the big trawlers anchored at 1 km in the sea. We would sleep that night on the trawler, which meant sleeping on wooden plank with ship rocking all the time.
Velneshwar Temple

Velneshwar Shiva

We would start at 4.00 a.m. and would be back the next morning. Our idea of venturing in the sea vanished with this plan. It is difficult to sleep on the ship and also difficult to manage morning chores. On the other hand these tough and brave men of sea; do this day in and day out.
They also follow certain rules, they don’t catch very small fish which is not fully grown. They never kill dolphins because there are stories where dolphins have helped human beings. There is a standard procedure for division of catch with the owner of the trawler, head fisherman and the sailors.

We dropped the idea of going to sea, but we kept awake till late in the night watching twinkling lights on the boats in sea. We had a great time.
Next day morning we headed for Hedavi, and reached at 11.30 a.m. Hedavi is destination for all Ganesha followers as it is believed that praying here results in fulfillment of wishes. The deity here appears different from its normal self with Dhashbhuja (10 hands). The temple was constructed by Kelkar swami with donations from the Peshwas. The statue is constructed in stone with look of Ganesha as warrior.
Hedavi Ganesha Temple

Hedavi is also on the coast but the beach here is not great. It is small and rocky. So we decided to keep going and take a break at Ganapatipule. We again decided to follow coastal route, we crossed bridge at Bhatgaon and moved on towards Jaigad.